Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard Suffers Season Ending Injury During Loan Spell With Heerenveen

​Martin Odegaard may have played his last game of the season after the Norway international suffered a broken metatarsal.

Odegaard has spent the season on loan at Dutch Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen from Real Madrid. The Super Frisians ​confirmed the bone break in a statement on their website. 

In 2015 it was almost impossible to escape the news that Real Madrid had signed a 16-year-old Odegaard from Norweigen club Strømsgodset in a deal which reportedly rose to up to €8m. He was tipped to be the next big thing, as the teenager signed a bumper £80,000-a-week deal with Los Blancos. 

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Since making his move to Madrid, Odegaard played predominantly for the club’s Castilla ‘B’ team. He made 62 appearances for the youth side, scoring five goals and creating eight. 

Since making his loan move to Heerenveen, the midfielder has played 43 times in all competitions and has scored three goals. 

But unfortunately it would seem that Odegaard has played his last game for the Dutch side, and will now be expected to make a decision about his future in the summer. 

He is apparently contracted to Madrid until the summer of 2021, but is yet to decide whether he will stay in the Spanish capital and fight for a place in the first team. 

“Later, we will see what happens,” he said while on international duty with Norway, as quoted by ​ESPN. “It could be [another loan], but this is not the right moment to speak about it.”

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9 Massive Clubs Who Have Scored Fewer Champions League Goals Than Cristiano Ronaldo

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Cristiano Ronaldo is an electric goalscoring machine. Yeah, who knew?

The Portugal superstar’s double in Real Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League triumph over Juventus on Tuesday evening took his personal tally in the competition to 119 goals, which is an outstanding achievement in its own right.

More staggering that that, however, is the number of clubs who have featured in UEFA’s continental tournament and haven’t come close to hitting that mark.

Here’s nine who may want to step up their game in that regard as one man outscores each of them.

9. Tottenham Hotspur

Admittedly they haven’t featured as much as other clubs on this list, but Spurs are still one of plenty of other outfits whose scoring prowess pales in comparison to Ronaldo’s.

The likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen can’t hold a candle to him combined, but given time – and enough entries via the Premier League – they should eventually catch up with him.

8. AS Monaco

Okay, much like Spurs above them Monaco are relative newcomers to the Champions League scene.

It would almost impossible for them to try and match Ronaldo’s feat then, but they still fall way short of being able to eventually overhaul him in this regard.

They might have had a chance if Leonardo Jardim’s title-winning side hadn’t been dismantled by Europe’s top clubs and, if their better stars continue to leave, they may struggle to consistently qualify.

7. PSV Eindhoven

It seems a tad harsh to include a Dutch team in this list but, much like their contemporaries, PSV Eindhoven are no match for Ronaldo’s prowess in front of goal.

Their appearances in the Champions League have been sporadic since the turn of the century, but they’ll have an opportune chance to add to their goals column if and when they win the Eredivisie this season.

Their time in the tournament may not last long next term, however, and it’ll be a good while before they can claim to match Ronaldo’s feat.

6. Roma

Much like Inter, Roma have been something of a mainstay in the Champions League in recent times.

A four-year spell outside of UEFA’s top tournament, though, has put paid to their chances of preventing Ronaldo from moving above them in the scoring charts.

They’ll find it hard to add to their tally in the quarter final affair with Barcelona this month and, with Inter and Lazio hot on their heels in Serie A, may yet find themselves unable to add to their own tally next season.

5. Internazionale

Crazy though it may be, Inter haven’t featured in the Champions League since the 2011/12 campaign – a whole seven seasons ago.

Much has changed for I Nerazzurri since then, but they may finally feast at Europe’s top table again next term if they can secure a top three place in Serie A.

That absence since 2012 has allowed Ronaldo to surpass them in the goalscoring charts single-handedly, and we imagine Luciano Spalletti’s men will have something to say about that if – and when – they make their grand return.

4. Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders finally hit 100 Champions League goals earlier this season but, despite all of their prolific attackers, they can’t even outscore an ageing Ronaldo.

In spite of the talents of Sergi Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, Ronaldo is still able to laud it over the Citizens.

That may only be for another season or two, depending on how the free-scoring quarter finalists fare between now and next term, but for now Ronaldo has the edge of a former Barcelona adversary.

3. Atletico Madrid

Much like Dortmund, Atletico’s place in the Champions League has been assured in recent times as they vie with Barcelona and Real Madrid for La Liga’s crown.

You would suspect, then, that their attacking talent such as Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, Fernando Torres, Saul Niguez and former star Yannick Carrasco would have found the net more times than their city rival’s star man.

Suspect no more as it isn’t the case. Ronaldo has even outscored them.

2. Borussia Dortmund

With very little in the way of competition in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League has almost always been a dead cert.

Die Borussen have featured in plenty of campaigns recently and, with goal-getters like Marco Reus, Christian Pulisic and departed duo Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, you would expect them to have a decent haul of strikes.

Not so. Another team who can’t claim to have outscored Ronaldo.

1. Liverpool

Liverpool and goalscorers have gone hand in hand ever since their formation in 1892, and it would take a while to list all of their best goalscorers throughout history.

Recently, however, the likes of Fernando Torres, Michael Owen, Mo Salah, Robbie Fowler and Luis Suarez have all plundered goals in the Champions League and not even they can beat Ronaldo in a scoring race either.

Given their history with the competition, it’s mad to think that even the Reds haven’t bagged more than 119 goals.

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Real Madrid Ace Marcelo Names All-Time Starting Lineup & it’s As Good As You Think

​Real Madrid’s Marcelo has played with some outstanding footballers throughout his own professional career, hasn’t he?

From club colleagues to international teammates, the left-back has had his fair share of playing alongside some superstars and other talented individuals.

When it comes to deciding who would make it into his all-time starting lineup, then, Marcelo must have quite a job on his hands, right? Not so, if the lineup that the ​Daily Mirror printed is anything to go by.

Unsurprisingly, Marcelo’s team is comprised of a fair few Los Blancos stars and some superb Brazilians. After all, you don’t play for one of the world’s biggest clubs and an internationally renowned national side without choosing those types.

Front and centre in the 29-year-old’s mind, however, is Croatian playmaker Luka Modric. The ex-Tottenham midfielder was even given the accolade of being named as Marcelo’s captain, with the full-back gushing in his praise.

He said: “Luka Modric as captain, that one is amazing.”

Eibar v Real Madrid - La Liga

In a slightly shocking turn, Marcelo opted to pick compatriot Julio Cesar in goal over Real legend Iker Casillas, but pretty much everyone else in his side is deserving of a place there.

Marcelo’s back four comprises of Brazilian legends Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Roberto Carlos, while Spanish centre-back Sergio Ramos takes up the final berth.

In midfield alongside Modric he decided to choose Casemiro and ex-Real star Mesut Ozil, while Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane was also handed a starting place despite Marcelo admitting he never played with him!

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(You may also be interested in ​12 of the Greatest Goals in Champions League History After Ronaldo’s Stunning Bicycle Kick)

He continued: “Wait, I did not play with Zizou [Zidane]. But he is my coach. I can do it.”

Finally, Marcelo plumped for the frightening duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar up top to complete his 4-4-2 formation – two of the game’s most recent deadly finishers to fire in the goals needed to win games.

Suffice to say that’s a team that nobody would wish to come up against regardless of whether it’s fictional or not!

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12 of the Greatest Goals in Champions League History After Ronaldo’s Stunning Bicycle Kick

Cristiano Ronaldo has outdone himself once again by leaving fans speechless with an outrageous bicycle kick against Juventus on Tuesday.

The Portugal international’s strike is just the latest in a long line of screamers that have flown in since the Champions League as we know it today came about in 1992.

After painstakingly trying to whittle down a list of wonder goals that have been scored in Europe’s elite competition, here are 13 of the best strikes you may or may not remember.

12. Cristiano Ronaldo vs FC Porto (2009)

Where better to start than another screamer from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rather than a display of the Portugal international’s incredible acrobatics, let’s remember when the former Manchester United star stunned FC Porto with a powerful 40-yard strike that sailed past goalkeeper Helton.

The goal set up a semi final match against Premier League rivals Arsenal and United would go on to reach the final that season, eventually losing to Barcelona in Rome.

11. Yuri Zhirkov vs Spartak Moscow (2010)

Yuri Zhirkov’s time at Chelsea was far from a success and the Russian star largely failed to live up to expectations following his £18m arrival at Stamford Bridge.

However, the winger provided one of the best goals in Champions League history back in 2010 when he sent a left-footed half-volley flying into the top corner from distance against Spartak Moscow – Zhirkov’s only goal in Chelsea colours.

10. Luis García vs Juventus (2005)

Former Liverpool midfielder Luis García is no stranger to scoring a worldie or two.

The Spaniard hit a first-time effort from outside the box on his left foot against Juventus that looped over Gianluigi Buffon to give the Reds a 2-0 lead at Anfield. Despite Fabio Cannavaro’s goal to bring Juventus back into the game, Liverpool were able to see the Bianconeri off over two legs and win the competition thanks to a historic comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul.

9. Steven Gerrard vs Marseille (2008)

From one ex-Liverpool player to another, English legend Steven Gerrard scored more than a few pearlers during his long career at Anfield.

On a trip to the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, Gerrard scored one of the Champions League’s best goals with a stunning first-time strike from distance.

Rather that his trademark piledriver that we came to expect from the midfielder, Gerrard looped the ball over the Marseille goalkeeper with finesse and it nestled into the far corner of the goal.

8. Alessandro Florenzi vs Barcelona (2015)

AS Roma star Alessandro Florenzi is expected to take over their reigns from Francesco Totti as the prince of Rome over the next few years.

And with goals like his strike against Barcelona in 2015, the Italy international will surely be a fan favourite at the Stadio Olympico for years to come.

After making a short bursting run beyond the half way line, Florenzi fired the ball over a stranded Marc-André ter Stegen to score one of the most memorable long-range goals in European history.

7. Philippe Mexès vs Anderlecht (2012)

Despite spending the entirety of his career as a hard-hitting and over the top centre back, Philippe Mexès also had the healthy habit of scoring incredible goals with AC Milan.

During a trip to Belgium where the Rossoneri faced Anderlecht, Mexès controlled a looping free kick with his chest before sending a bicycle kick from outside the box into the far corner of the goal.

6. Lars Ricken vs Juventus (1997)

Juventus just can’t catch a break can they…

In the days before Cristiano Ronaldo could break Bianconeri hearts, that responsibility was left to the right foot of Borussia Dortmund hero Lars Ricken.

The midfielder started from the bench when BVB met Juventus in the Champions League final back in 1997, but Ricken made an impact just seconds after coming on – dinking the ball over Angelo Peruzzi to ensure the German underdogs would win the competition in Berlin.

5. Dejan Stanković vs Schalke 04 (2011)

There aren’t many Champions League goals as iconic as Dejan Stanković’s first time effort from the half way line against Schalke 04.

After Manuel Neuer seemingly cleared any danger in true sweeper keeper style, Stanković reacted quickly and perfectly sent the ball sailing into the back of the net just 25 seconds into the match.

4. Mario Mandžukić vs Real Madrid (2017)

Finally, a goal that actually went in favour of Juventus!

Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić had fans across the world on the edge of their seats when he acrobatically brought Juventus back into the game by volleying the ball beyond Keylor Navas in the Champions League final last season.

Unfortunately, the goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win in Cardiff.

3. Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid (2011)

A list just wouldn’t be the same without Lionel Messi would it.

During the Champions League semi finals in 2011, the Argentine forward broke through Real Madrid’s defence like a hot knife through butter, skipping effortlessly past five challenges before sending Iker Casillas the wrong way and finding the back of the net.

2. Ronaldinho vs Chelsea (2005)

Brazil legend Ronaldinho is no stranger to scoring when it seems impossible to find the back of the net.

Back in 2005 Barcelona travelled to Stamford Bridge and the playmaker scored arguably the most iconic goal of his career. 

Although the strike would prove to have little meaning in the context of the game, Ronaldinho embarrassed Ricardo Carvalho on the edge of the box before poking the ball into the corner of the net and leaving Petr Čech helpless to stop it.

1. Zinedine Zidane vs Bayer Leverkusen (2002)

Was it ever going to be anything else?

In the 2002 Champions League final in Glasgow, Real Madrid striker Raúl saw his early strike quickly cancelled out by Bayer Leverkusen defender Lúcio.

But man of the match Zinedine Zidane popped up with the Champions League’s most iconic goal just before half time. A cross from Roberto Carlos deflected high in the air and the French midfielder showcased his flawless technique by sending the ball flying into the top corner with a left-footed volley – a goal that secured Los Blancos’ ninth European Cup/UEFA Champions League trophy.

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Twitter Goes Head Over Heels for Ronaldo Masterclass As Juve Suffer Deja Vu Against Real Madrid

Champions League holders Real Madrid are now all but through to the Champions League semi-final after beating Juventus 0-3 at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.

A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and another from Marcelo did the trick for the Spanish side against the team who the faced in last year’s final. Somewhat predictably, it was the five-time Ballon d’Or winning Portuguese star who left the internet ablaze with his second goal – an incredible bicycle kick that resigned a stunned Gigi Buffon and his Juve teammates to their fate.

Safe to say, Twitter enjoyed it…

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Even the Juve fans knew when to simply stand and applaud…

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​​Meanwhile Paulo Dybala got quite a different reaction for his own high foot…

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Juventus 0-3 Real Madrid: Ronaldo Stunner All But Secures Semi-Final Spot for Los Blancos

Real Madrid took a huge step to securing their eight consecutive Champions League semi-final spot on Tuesday evening, as they overpowered and overcame Juventus 0-3 in Turin. 

Cristiano Ronaldo set Los Blancos on their way early on as he tucked away Isco’s cross from close range. And despite the Old Lady controlling much of the tempo up until the Portugal international’s second, the 33-year-old’s almost indescribable volleyed bicycle kick, which preluded Paulo Dybala’s early exclusion, and Marcelo’s close-range finish killed off any Juve fightback and rounded off a memorable night for the Spanish capital side. 

The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will play host to the, what seems now, the formality of the second leg next week, where Zinedine Zidane’s side will surely take one step closer to becoming the first club in history to secure three consecutive European Cup titles. 

A deafening and anticipative Allianz Stadium greeted the giants of Italy and Spain as the Champions League anthem boomed around the Turin amphitheatre, with 180 minutes of season, career and potentially history-defining football lying ahead. 

However, the man for the biggest of stages; Ronaldo, took all but three minutes to silence the tumultuous atmosphere by poking home Isco’s low cross from the left-hand side to give Los Blancos the perfect start and maintain his record of scoring in every round of the competition this season. 

After falling behind early, Juventus found the ball retention and link-up play that was absent in the opening moments, and after 20 minutes of containment and methodical build-up, the hosts finally tested Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas; who, unfortunately for the Italians, pulled off a superb stop. 

Gonzalo Higuain, who spent six years in the Spanish capital; netting over 100 goals for Los Blancos during his spell, got the better of his marker before directing his header goalbound after latching onto Paulo Dybala’s delicious free-kick; only for the Costa Rica international to meet the attempt with a strong right hand and somehow deny the 30-year-old from close range.

And the Frenchman’s missed opportunity almost proved even more significant shortly after the half-hour mark as Toni Kroos rattled the crossbar with a long-range thunderbolt; reminding Juve that despite their possessional control of the contest, Zinedine Zidane’s side still possessed the ability to punish the Serie A champions at will. 

But as the break encroached, it was the home side who looked the most threatening. However, despite the Allianz Stadium erupting in plea as Dybala fell to the turf inside the area after claiming to be impeded by a dangling boot from Casemiro, the half-time whistle came and the Argentine entered experienced Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir’s notebook for simulation.

Following the interval, the flow of the game continued very much in the same vein as to the first half, with the Old Lady seeing the majority of the ball, yet continuing to struggle to trouble the partnership of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos – who will miss the second leg through suspension after picking up a yellow card. 

And the hosts’ lack of attacking prowess was almost punished by Ronaldo for the second time of the evening less than five minutes into the second half, as the Portugal international lashed inches wide of Gianluigi Buffon’s right-hand upright from a tight angle. 

But the five-time Ballon d’Or-winner did not give Juventus a second let off, as on the stroke of the hour-mark the 33-year-old netted his 649th career goal with a simply sensational volleyed bicycle kick. 

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A defensive mix up allowed Ronaldo in behind Massimiliano Allegri’s outfit’s defence, from which he teed up substitute Lucas Vasquez; whose shot was brilliantly saved by Buffon. 

But the Italian’s stop afforded Dani Carvajal the opportunity to clip the ball back into the box which eventually led to Los Blancos doubling their advantage via a stupendously audacious overhead finish – a goal which was met with applause from every corner of the stadium.

However, Juve’s heartbreak was far from over, as two minutes later, Dybala; who was booked for simulation just before the break, received his marching orders from referee Cakir after catching the Spanish right back with a high boot; a prelude to the potentially tie-ending moments that followed. 

After commanding a two-goal advantage and finding themselves with an extra man, Real Madrid saw the opportunity to finish the two-legged contest in Turin, and as Marcelo rounded off a superb team move by finding the net with 18 minutes remaining, one of the semi-final contests look destined to include the defending champions for the second season running. 

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Real Madrid Make Spurs Star ‘Main Summer Target’ as Pochettino Stands Firm on First Team Omission

​Real Madrid have set out of favour Tottenham centre half Toby Alderweireld as their main transfer target this summer, and manager Mauricio Pochettino has done little to suggest he sees the Belgian as part of his plans despite the ongoing speculation.

Rumours have been circulating claiming that the Belgian could be available for around £55m at the end of the season, given that he’s been forced to play second fiddle to Davinson Sanchez since the turn of the year. The 29-year-old has struggled with injury problems for a large part of the season, and he’s only managed ten Premier League starts.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Pochettino has admitted those issues are a big part of the reason why he’s unable to get in the Spurs team at the moment, but it seems to have alerted Real – as according to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Madrid have put Alderweireld to the top of their list. There’s also the underlying issue of ​new contract discussions potentially impacting his place in the team.

Pochettino has even admitted that he won’t simply hand Alderweireld any game time because the player is looking to make Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad ahead of this summer’s World Cup, and that he has to earn his place in the Spurs team.

“I have an amazing relationship with Roberto,” said the Spurs boss, via talkS​PORT. “I understand his comment, like all the managers. If I am the Belgium manager, England manager or Argentina manager, I want all my players to play.

“But my focus is to manage Tottenham and win games with Tottenham. I cannot be kind with every single manager.

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“I need to care for my club and I can only pick 11 players and we have plenty of international players. I can only pick 11 and if I pick one, another needs to stay on the bench or out of the squad.

“Toby in the last four months has struggled with his injury. I am not going to change the system because Toby needs games for the World Cup. I need to pick two centre-backs and if you are happy you keep the couple of players and he needs to wait.

“The interest for me is Tottenham, it’s about Tottenham to win. I understand the (Belgium) manager but what can I do?”


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Absolutely No Chance: Jupp Heynckes Dismisses Real Madrid’s Chances of Signing Star Bayern Striker

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes has poured cold water on the rumours linking Poland forward Robert Lewandowski to Real Madrid, claiming the Spanish side have “no chance” of signing the star striker this summer.

Lewandowski’s changing of agents this season sparked talk of a move to the Bernabeu, with Madrid reportedly desperate to sign a world-class centre-forward at the end of the season. 

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga

The Champions League holders are said to have identified Lewandowski and Tottenham’s Harry Kane as chief targets, later settling on the Poland international as he would cost way less than Kane’s £174m valuation.

Bayern, though, are adamant the striker will remain at the Allianz Arena past the end of the current season.

“Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has already said it: with Robert, Real Madrid have no chance at all,” Heynckes told reporters during a press conference on Monday (H/T Goal).

Real and Colombia attacker James Rodriguez is now on loan at Bayern, having agreed a two-year loan deal with the German side last summer. It is believed that Los Blancos are considering using the player as a makeweight in a bid to land Lewandowski, but Heynckes has suggested that no decision has been made on the player’s future on Bayern’s end.

“Of course, I knew him before he came to Bayern,” he said. “When I took over the team in the autumn, he wasn’t physically fit. He is stronger physically now, he’s a completely different player.

“He has integrated into the group and he feels very good. He’ll definitely play at Bayern in the coming season but Bayern must decide what happens beyond that.”

Bayern Muenchen Training And Press Conference

(You may also be interested in:  Julian Weigl Admits Bayern Munich Are a ‘Class Above’ Dortmund After Humiliating 6-0 Loss)

Heynckes, though, refused to get drawn in on the futures of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, with both players’ contracts expiring at the end of the season, adding: “I have my opinion on Ribery and Robben. But I will hold back here with my recommendations,” he said after being questioned.

“The club will know what they are and will decide in due course.”


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Juventus vs Real Madrid Preview: Classic Encounter, Recent Form, Team News & More

In this eagerly anticipated repeat of the 2016/17 Champions League final, Juventus will take on Real Madrid at the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night in the first leg of their quarter final clash. 

Despite Juve’s apparent status as ‘over the hill’, it perhaps unsurprising to see the Old Lady once again continue to defy their age. Indeed, while Madrid are ostensibly the favourites, such an experience and hardened side would not have been Zinedine Zidane’s chosen opponents, far from it in fact.

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Both had the required confidence boosting domestic victories over the weekend, with three goal hauls all round ensuring they’ll both go into the game in Turin in an appropriately potent mood.


Classic Encounter

As alluded to, the pair have a remarkably even record against each other, with the Spanish side just edging the Italians by nine wins to eight, and two draws in their 19 competitive clashes.

While I would love to be able to cite last season’s final as our classic encounter, unfortunately it was far from it, as Juventus succumbed to Real’s attacking prowess with little resistance in the second half at the Principality Stadium. 

Fussball: CL 02/03, Juventus Turin - Real Madrid 3:1

No, for a truly classic game we head back to the 2002/03 semi final second leg. After infamously beating Manchester United 6-5 on aggregate in the quarter finals, with that astonishing hat-trick from Ronaldo, Los Blancos were in fervent form. 

They took this confidence into the first leg at the Bernabeu, triumphing 2-1. However, 12 minutes in, their advantage was cancelled out by David Trezeguet, after some tenacious work by Del Piero to reach an overweighted ball with his head, knocking it back for the frenchman to dispatch into the net.

Fussball: CL 02/03, Juventus Turin - Real Madrid

The Italian maestro then doubled the Old Lady’s advantage, with another dextrous piece of work. This time he killed a high looping ball with a sumptuous first touch, then feigned inside and out before slotting it into the near corner. 

It was then the turn of the first of the two recurring cast members this time out, to have their say on proceedings. First up, was Gianluigi Buffon, who’s penalty save from Luis Figo in the 67th minute was perhaps the most critical moment of the entire encounter. 

Fussball: CL 02/03, Juventus Turin - Real Madrid

The save reinforced his side’s belief, and just six minutes later Pavel Nedved settled the tie, with an expertly taken half volley from a clipped ball from Zambrotta. There was still time though for the second survivor, Zinedine Zidane, to make his elegant mark on the ocassion, as he capped off a wondrous performance with a typically classy consolation finish. 

Of course it wasn’t enough to prevent Juventus from meeting AC Milan at Old Trafford, for the first (and last) all Italian European final.


Recent Form

Record over the last 10 games across competitions:

Juventus: WDWWWWWWDW

As is customary at this point of this season, the Bianconeri have gone undefeated in their last 10 games, although the draws against Tottenham at home, and a stalemate away at SPAL have shown their fallibility. 

Real Madrid: WWWWLWWWWW

Real have a similarly imperious record, with both wins against Paris Saint-Germain in the Last 16 showing they’re still the most dangerous side in Europe. However, the ignominious loss against Espanyol that blots this record, as well as various defensive lapses throughout, are cause for concern.


Team News

Madrid’s clean bill of health was dealt a blow on Saturday, when Nacho Fernandez came off in the early stages of their clash with Las Palmas. The defender is now a doubt for Tuesday night, but Isco and Sergio Ramos have both returned to training, and should be available. 

Juventus, meanwhile, are far more laden with absentees. Alex Sandro is expected to miss out after sustaining a hamstring injury over the international break, and Federico Bernardeschi remains out indefinitely. 

Additionally, both Miralem Pjanic and Mehdi Benatia are ruled out through suspension, while Mario Mandzukic faces a race to be fit after his thigh injury. In more positive news, Juan Cuadrado made his return to action against Milan, and should be in line for selection.


Potential Juventus Starting Lineup: Buffon; Asamoah, Chiellini, Barzagli, Lichtsteiner; Khedira, Matuidi; Costa, Dybala, Cuadrado; Higuain.

Potential Real Madrid Starting Lineup: Navas; Marcelo, Ramos, Varane, Carvajal; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Ronaldo, Bale.


Prediction

As is so often the case, so much of this tie depends on Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward has scored in every single Champions League game so far this season, with an incredible 12 from eight games. 

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However, if Juventus can keep him quiet, and strike on the break – following the blueprint of two seasons ago – they could have a chance. Indeed, despite their run of good form, Madrid’s evident uncertainty at the back will provide promise for Massimo Allegri’s side. 

Prediction: Juventus 2-2 Real Madrid

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